Even though critics believe that there may reasons for negative opinions toward the Dakota Access Pipeline, one expert on the matter insists that they have nothing to do with Native American groups and other opponents.
Julia Seymour of the Media Research Center looked at broadcast news coverage following the Army Corps of Engineers' recent announcement that it would not grant the final easement needed to allow construction for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe and the Missouri River.
"It would actually be an underground crossing," Seymour told OneNewsNow. "What I found was that ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news reports were heavily skewed in favor of the NO DAPL protestors."
She then gave a number of examples.
"It showed them positively jubilant, singing, crying, embracing one another following the decision -- and directly interviewed or included video of eight people against the pipeline," Seymour explained. "One of those was an Instagram video from actor and activist Mark Ruffalo – but not a single video or interview was included criticizing the decision, complaining that this is a violation of the rule of law, or advocating for the pipeline in any way."
The problem, according to Seymour, is that when the media only shows that and it don't bother telling its audience the facts involved, viewers do not get the entire story.
"This pipeline does not cross the Standing Rock Sioux reservation at all, and federal courts have rejected claims that the tribe wasn't consulted," the expert on media and reporting explains. "These are important pieces of information, but instead, we've found such one-side coverage on this subject, and I think that's really affecting the public opinion of what's going on."
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other groups insist that the pipeline threatens water and historical sites, a claim that supporters of the pipeline have rejected.
This analysis – which involved December 4th and 5th broadcast news coverage – follows similar research conducted by Seymour.
"The 8-0 ratio in this case was even more biased than my earlier analysis, which looked at late October through mid-November pipeline coverage where I found seven times more opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline than I found proponents."